Thursday, October 13, 2011
The first part Terrence Malick's translator's introduction to The Essence of Reasons.
Heidegger’s Vom Wesen des Grundes first appeared in a festschrift for Edmund Husserl for his seventieth birthday. Following a custom of festschrift contributors, Heidegger used the occasion to settle a number of accounts with his former teacher. During his tenure at the University of Freiburg, Hurrsel had looked Heidegger as an inheritor of both his academic chair and his investigations in theory and knowledge. But with the publication of Sein und Zeit in 1927, it became clear that Heidegger was taking an independent stance. Hurrsel’s marginalia to the book reveal something more than disappointment. At first he suspects Heidegger of innocently translating his thoughts from “phenomenological” onto “anthropological” terms—writing “Dasein” for Hurrsel’s “ego”, das man for “transcendental intersubjectivity” and so forth. Thus many of his following comment deal with Heidegger’s misinterpretation of his teachings and his consequent lapse into “an intentional psychology of personality” toward the end of the book, however, Hurrsel decides that Heidegger is with phenomenology ---- that he sees no need to define, much less warrant his attitudes toward the phenomena which he choose to investigate, i.e., no need to show what recommends them to his investigation. While hurrsel did not claim much success in defining the proper attitudes and procedures of the philosophical inquirer, he felt that philosophy could not fulfill its “Cartesian mission” and became a science until such a definition, or at least the necessity for one, had been established. He talked with Heidegger at the lengths of his misgivings, and Heidegger promised to answer them.

Soon after the appearance of Sein und Zeit, Husserl was commissioned to write an article for The Encyclopedia Britannica. Perhaps he saw in the article an opportunity to resolve his differences with Heidegger, for he asked him to collaborate, a rare gesture on his part. Heidegger never quite consented but, during a visit to Husserl’s home in Freiburg, did work through the second draft. He later sent along his revisions with a conversing note, which included the following observation: we agree that being [das seiende], in the sense of that which you call “world” cannot be clarified through a return to beings of the same nature. But this does not mean that what determines the location [ort] of the transcendental is not a being at all. Rather it leads directly to the problem what is the nature of being in which “world” is constituted? That is the central problem of Sein und Zeit . . . .
I wonder to what extent the pressure on phenomenology from the popular, at the time, neo-Kantians plays a role in the Husserl-MH disagreements.

In MH's later work, he makes clear to me that, while he respects Kant profoundly, he sees some glaring inconsistencies in Kant. To say so at the time of B&T (e.g., avoiding "transcendental") might have spooked Husserl.
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